At the Washington Times, Two Scientists Apply Framing to Get Their Message Across

How do you influence conservative media outlets to take climate change seriously, re-casting the issue in a light that connects to their conservative audiences?

You got it: Framing.

It's a strategy that two scientists apply today in an op-ed published at the Washington Times. Bryan K. Mignone, a Science & Technology Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, and Mark D. Drapeau, a AAAS Fellow at the National Defense University, strategically piggyback on last week's military report on climate change to gain an audience at the notoriously conservative WTimes opinion page.

They frame their lede in national security terms before moving on to reaffirm the scientific evidence in support of climate change as a problem.

Here's an email Drapeu sent me, noting the lessons he's picked up from our commentaries at Science and the WPost, and the many other posts on the topic at this blog:

Hi Dr. Nisbet - Your blog is incredibly valuable to the scientific community. Applying the tools of framing to controversial discussions in science and other technical areas is important now more than ever. One of these current topics is that of global climate change, which has implications for science, technology, health, politics, and security.

In that vein, I wanted to forward you a link to my new op-ed about climate change and international security that was published in the 22 April (Sunday) Washington Times: It's called "Climate of Subtle Conflict."

As a 06-08 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Defense, I am trying to translate technical issues into language for the senior [defense] policymaker. Working with a future AAAS Fellow, Bryan Mignone from the Brookings Institution, I think we've been successful!

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While measuring individual effects is always difficult, it would be great if Bryan could collect and share any feedback he receives that might suggest how the message was received among his various audiences.